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NT Health principles to support ‘on farm’ quarantine

This document outlines the principles that support workers recruited in the Northern Territory (NT) under the Australian Government’s Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) by approved employers to undertake their mandatory international border entry quarantine in accommodation ‘on farm’ when not working.

All farms/farmers must apply via an online application process. The online application form outlines the minimum requirements in order to be considered for this scheme and also allows the farm owner to detail how they are able to meet the criteria.

The online application will be available in mid-January 2021.

Principles for on farm quarantine

  • The ‘on farm’ quarantine period is for 14 days, where the arrival day is counted as day zero and the quarantine period is not complete until midday on the 14th day.
  • Assurance needs to be provided as to how workers will be supervised to ensure they remain on farm for the total time of the quarantine period.
  • All approved employers must complete an online management plan application, which needs to be approved by the Chief Health Officer (CHO).
  • Only approved employers under the Australian Government’s PLS and SWP are able to apply for ‘on farm’ quarantine.
  • All workers participating in an ‘on farm’ quarantine programme are required to undertake a pre-departure health screen to ensure they have no COVID 19 symptoms and have not been in contact with a COVID positive person in the last 14 days.

When working

  • No person to person contact between international seasonal workers and NT residents or other workers is permitted during the quarantine period.
  • Workers must be separated from other workers when undertaking their duties, e.g. a person who is quarantining ‘on farm’ cannot work in a shed or packing/processing area with Territory residents or travel in a vehicle with other Territory residents.
  • International workers undertaking ‘on farm’ quarantine should be easily identified.


  • Transportation from international arrival to the farm must be arranged and paid for by the employer.
  • A deep cleaning regime needs to be defined for the transport vehicle.


  • Workers, other than those living together normally, need to be accommodated in separate bedrooms and need to be able to be separate from each other during the quarantine period.
  • A cleaning regime needs to be detailed to maintain the accommodation.


  • All workers that provide support services to the farm and workers doing ‘on farm’ quarantine must be tested for COVID 19 every 7 days. This will include, but not limited to; security officers; cleaning staff and catering staff.
  • All workers must be tested on or close to day 3 and day 12 of quarantine.

Health support

  • The farm must be near or able to access a GP or local health services.
  • Daily screening of workers must include temperature checks at the beginning of each shift.
  • Any symptoms must be managed immediately according to the approved Management Plan
  • Contingency plans for workers testing positive need to clearly identify an isolation process and transfer to appropriate care facilities.

For more information contact Border Restrictions on 1800 490 484 or DOH.Exempt@nt.gov.au.